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“Love Guru” still awaiting certification for exhibition in India

Special to Earthpages.org

Mike Myers (star of The Love Guru) by Alan Light

Mike Myers (star of The Love Guru) by Alan Light

Keenly protested Hollywood movie “The Love Guru”, released last June and bluntly failed world over, is still reportedly waiting for certification from India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), where it was submitted on November 20 last.

According to reports, its fate is still hanging because of difference of opinion of CBFC film committee members. CBFC is responsible for certifying films suitable for public exhibition in India, where the main character of the movie Guru Pitka was shown to be raised in an ashram. Usually a movie receives certification in a week or two.

According to acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, this movie appears to violate various CBFC “guidelines for certification”. He listed the apparently challenged CBFC guidelines in this movie as: “ such dual meaning words as obviously cater to baser instincts are not allowed”; “visuals or words contemptuous of racial, religious or other groups are not presented”; “human sensibilities are not offended by vulgarity, obscenity or depravity”.

Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, stresses that the Cinematograph Act lays down that a film has to be certified keeping “morality” in mind, besides other things. CBFC objectives of film certification are given as… “the medium of film remains responsible and sensitive to the values and standards of society”; “the medium of film provides clean and healthy entertainment”…

Rajan Zed, who spearheaded the protest movement against “The Love Guru” beginning in March 2008, argues that it is a pure and blatant ridiculing of Hinduism, the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought. No faith, larger or smaller, should be ridiculed at.

Hindus, who earlier called for its worldwide boycott, have also urged its co-producer and leading actor Mike Myers to withdraw “The Love Guru” movie from proposed exhibition in India out of respect for the upset Hindus.

Zed argued that withdrawing the movie from India would also save Mike Myers from further humiliation as the film suffered blunt failure at the box office and also received “worst picture”, “worst actor”, and “worst screenplay” awards at Golden Raspberries.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops declared “The Love Guru” “morally offensive” and slapped it with its highest rating “O”. “Preview Online”, which calls itself  “informative tool for Christian parents and moviegoers”, gave it Morality Rating of  –4 (Dangerous), which is lowest of five categories, highest being +4. “Christian Spotlight on Entertainment” gave it a Moral Rating of “Very Offensive”. Crosswalk, a Christ-centered corporation, wrote in the movie review, “…slew of seriously wince-inducing jabs at India’s culture (horrible, even when meant in fun)…” Dwight N. Hopkins, Professor of Theology at the University of Chicago Divinity School, has said about the movie, “It exhibits the bodacious, repulsive, iconoclastic, sophomoric, insulting, stereotyping, and illogicality…”


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Deepak Chopra on “The Love Guru” issue

Deepak Chopra

Originally uploaded by Luiza

Deepak Chopra was interviewed on CBC Radio a little while ago about the controversial Paramount movie, The Love Guru, starring Mike Myers.

In that interview Chopra suggested that Hindus should not overreact to Myers’ brand of humor, which, he said, operates on the first and second chakra levels.

Chopra said that only a few “Hindu Fundamentalists” were offended, implying that the number of offended Hindus was relatively small compared to all Hindus.

And protesting the movie, Chopra claimed, will only make more people want to go and see it.

Chopra also said that he doesn’t get offended by things any more:

If your faith can be shaken by a joke then it’s another cover up for insecurity. I mean, come on, if you can’t take a joke that doesn’t say much about your faith.” » Q: The Podcast Monday June 23, 2008

Hindus offended by the film, however, have not given up on their worldwide campaign.

Here are some of the most recent headlines:


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Hindus want NHL to cut-off all alliances with “The Love Guru” movie

Special to Earthpages.org

Hindu groups have urged National Hockey League (NHL), headquartered in New York, to immediately cut-off all alliances with the Hollywood movie “The Love Guru”, stressing “it ridicules and denigrates Hindus and Hinduism”.

Advancing the cause spearheaded by acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed; Bhavna Shinde, representing Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and Sanatan Sanstha, in a communiqué to NHL Commissioner Gary Bruce Bettman, said, “All North Americans, including Hindus, are very proud of NHL and its heritage. Founded in 1917, NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, and one of the four North American sports leagues alongwith baseball, football and basketball. The Stanley Cup is the oldest professional sports trophy in North America. We do not want our NHL, which we hold in high esteem, to be in any way associated with ‘The Love Guru’, which lampoons Hinduism, its concepts, its traditions and its followers.”

“So, please detach NHL immediately from ‘The Love Guru’, including backing out of all strategic, marketing and other alliances; and issue a statement in this regard,” this communiqué stressed

Meanwhile, Rajan Zed, supported by some other organizations, has given a worldwide boycott call for this movie by Hindus and other religious people because it lampoons Hinduism and Hindu concepts and uses Hindu terms frivolously. Zed, who launched campaign against this movie starting in March, urging other people of faith (besides Hindus) also to boycott the movie, said, “Today it is Hinduism, tomorrow Hollywood might attempt to denigrate another religion/denomination.”

This is pure and blatant ridiculing and “The Love Guru” presenter Paramount Pictures and its parent Viacom should immediately issue a general public apology, Zed says and adds that Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion followers and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. No faith, larger or smaller, should be ridiculed at.

A prominent Jewish Rabbi, Elizabeth W. Beyer of Nevada (USA), has also called for boycott of “The Love Guru” because it “…lampoons Hinduism, mocks Ashram life and Hindu philosophy…”

Meanwhile, signature campaign launched by Hindu groups against “The Love Guru” has crossed the 6,600 mark.

“The Love Guru” (88 minutes), a comedy starring Mike Myers (of Austin Powers fame), opened June 20 in USA and Canada and will be released in different parts of the world in the near future. Viacom is a leading global entertainment content company and its family of brands includes MTV, Paramount, DreamWorks, etc. Paramount Pictures Corporation is a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.


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Hindu groups not happy with “The Love Guru” rating given by Singapore Censors

Special to Earthpages.org

Hindus do not seem to be pleased with Singapore Board of Film Censors classifying Hollywood movie “The Love Guru” with “NC16″ rating, and want it raised.

Advancing the protest movement launched by acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed starting in March last; Bhavna Shinde, representing Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and Sanatan Sanstha, has appealed to Singapore Media Development Authority (MDA) to assign “The Love Guru” its highest “R21″ (Restricted 21) rating instead of currently held “NC 16″, saying ” ‘The Love Guru’ blatantly ridicules and denigrates Hinduism and Hindu concepts”.

In a communiqué to Singapore MDA, Shinde wrote, “Cinema is a powerful medium and it can create stereotypes in the minds of some audiences, especially in the minds of younger audiences, who are passing through an impressionable phase. We do not want the next generation of Singapore growing up with a distorted view of Hinduism and Hindus.”

Hindus argue that the “The Passion of the Christ” movie was given a “M18″ rating (higher than what “The Love Guru” presently has) in Singapore in 2004 when the official classification media release said, “The film did not distort or denigrate Christianity.” On the other hand, “The Love Guru” blatantly ridicules Hinduism and Hindu concepts, so it deserves “R21″ rating.

In Singapore, “NC16″ rated films are suitable for 16 and above, while “R21″ films are suitable for aged 21 and above. “The Love Guru” is reportedly scheduled to be released in Singapore on September four.

Meanwhile, Rajan Zed, supported by some other organizations, has given a worldwide boycott call for this movie by Hindus and other religious people because it lampoons Hinduism and Hindu concepts and uses Hindu terms frivolously. Zed, who is urging other people of faith (besides Hindus) also to boycott the movie, says, “Today it is Hinduism, tomorrow Hollywood might attempt to denigrate another religion/denomination.”

A prominent Jewish Rabbi, Elizabeth W. Beyer of Nevada (USA), has also called for boycott of “The Love Guru” because it “…lampoons Hinduism, mocks Ashram life and Hindu philosophy…”

Zed stresses that the broader aim of boycott against this movie is to protect the interests of various minorities and ethnicities and save them from future ridicule. Everyone is a minority in some place and in some sense and deserves to be respected. As fellow humans, is it not everybody’s duty to stand for the rights of minorities and speak for them when attempts are made at ridiculing them?

Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion followers and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. No faith, larger or smaller, should be ridiculed at, Zed says.

Meanwhile, signature campaign launched by Hindu groups against “The Love Guru” has crossed the 6,600 mark.

“The Love Guru” (88 minutes), a comedy starring Mike Myers (of Austin Powers fame), opened June 20 in USA and Canada and will be released in different parts of the world in the near future.


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Demand of public apology by Paramount and Viacom gathering storm

             Hindu Leader Rajan Zed

Special to Earthpages.org

Calls for public apology by Paramount Pictures and its parent Viacom on issues surrounding “The Love Guru” movie, started by acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed, are gathering strength.

Now Nevada Clergy Association (NCA); which is composed of Christian (various denominations), Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Bahai, Native American, etc., clergy; has joined others in asking for Paramount/Viacom apology.

In a statement issued in Nevada (USA) today, Right Reverend Gene Savoy Jr., NCA President, said, “We urge Paramount and Viacom to issue a general public apology over this issue, which will help heal the wounds of seemingly perturbed one-billion-strong Hindu community”.

Rev. Savoy, who is himself a well-respected Head Bishop of International Community of Christ, said in this statement, “We are dismayed at Paramount Pictures, presenter of this movie, for backtracking on their promise to protesting Hindu brothers-sisters, which we consider an unethical business practice. We are also appalled at Paramount and its parent Viacom for utter disregard of the protesters and making no efforts to have an open civilized dialogue with protesters and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution, who have been stressing that this movie denigrates Hinduism and Hindu concepts.”

He congratulated Rajan Zed “for his successful campaign” against the Hollywood movie “The Love Guru” and thanked him for “effectively creating this debate and awakening the future filmmakers to be more sensitive to the feelings of devotees when dealing with faith related issues”.

Rev. Savoy further said, “We at NCA are for free speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith is something sacred and attempts at debasing it hurt the adherents. Hollywood should be more conscious while handling faith related subjects, as cinema is a very mighty medium and it can create stereotypes in the minds of some audiences. We are concerned that today it is Hinduism; tomorrow Hollywood might attempt to mock another denomination/religion, which can be very painful to the faithful.”

Sometime back, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and Hindu religious leaders, in a joint signed statement, described Paramount’s backtracking on their promise to protesting Hindus as “un-Christian, un-Hindu, un-Buddhist, un-Jewish, etc., besides being unethical.”

Meanwhile, various other organizations, including Universal Society of Hinduism, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Hindu Alliance of India, Shri Ramayan Pracharini Sabha, Sanatan Sanstha, India Heritage Panel, have also demanded public apology from Paramount and Viacom.

Rajan Zed launched the protest movement against “The Love Guru” in March, saying that it appeared to be lampooning Hinduism and Hindus and using Hindu terms frivolously.


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Catholics declare “The Love Guru” “morally offensive” with their highest classification

Hindu Leader Rajan Zed

Special to Earthpages.org

Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu leader, has lauded the remarkable interfaith gesture of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) by giving Hollywood movie “The Love Guru” its highest rating “O” (morally offensive).

USCCB, headquartered in Washington DC, is an assembly of the hierarchy of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands who jointly exercise certain pastoral functions on behalf of the Christian faithful of the United States. Its Office for Film and Broadcasting (OFB) in New York is responsible for reviewing and rating theatrical motion pictures.

Harry Forbes, Director of OFB, in his review of “The Love Guru”, said “…Unabashedly vulgar and tasteless, the film, which wallows in endless penis jokes and fairly yucky potty humor…”. “O” is the highest of the five classifications granted by USCCB.

We are thankful to the Conference of Catholic Bishops for having a feel for the pain of the Hindu and spiritual community by categorizing “The Love Guru” as “morally offensive”, Zed stated.

Meanwhile, Rajan Zed has given a worldwide boycott call for “The Love Guru” by Hindus and other religious people because it lampoons Hinduism and Hindu concepts and uses Hindu terms frivolously.

Zed, who launched campaign against this movie starting in March, urging other people of faith (besides Hindus) also to boycott the movie, said, “Today it is Hinduism, tomorrow Hollywood might attempt to denigrate another religion/denomination.”

The antics of Guru Pitka of “The Love Guru” are a mockery of the esteemed institution of guru, who is a highly revered spiritual teacher/master/preceptor in Hinduism and who helps remove the ignorance of the seeker and who leads one from darkness to light.

On the other hand, guru in “The Love Guru” instigates a bar fight, repeatedly narrates penis jokes, mocks yoga (one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy), wears female jewelry, mocks the concept of third eye, makes disciples drink tea passed through his nose, orders alligator soup, induces elephant copulation in front of the crowd, introduces himself as “His Holiness”, lives in a lavish ashram staffed with scantily clad maids, and whose goal in life seems to appear on Oprah Winfrey show, Zed said.

When did Hindu gurus become available “for hire”? When and who started rating them? When did shishyas (disciples) started joining ashram for the sole purpose to make girls like them? Which Hindu ashram organizes fights of disciples with mops soaked in guru’s urine? Which guru urinates in the midst of disciples? Rajan Zed asked.

A prominent Jewish Rabbi, Elizabeth W. Beyer of Nevada (USA), has already called for boycott of “The Love Guru” because it “…lampoons Hinduism, mocks Ashram life and Hindu philosophy…”

Meanwhile, signature campaign launched by Hindu groups against “The Love Guru” has crossed the 6,400 mark.

“The Love Guru” (88 minutes), a comedy starring Mike Myers (of Austin Powers fame), opened Friday in USA and Canada and will be released in different parts of the world in the near future.


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After watching, Hindu leader calls for worldwide boycott of “The Love Guru” by Hindus and other religious people

Hindu Leader Rajan Zed

Special to Earthpages.org

Rajan Zed, prominent Hindu leader, has given a worldwide boycott call for Hollywood movie “The Love Guru” by Hindus and other religious people because it lampoons Hinduism and Hindu concepts and uses Hindu terms frivolously.

After seeing the film, which was released in USA and Canada today, Zed said that “The Love Guru” was even much more denigrating than they earlier perceived from the information gathered from trailers, website and other sources. Urging other people of faith (besides Hindus) also to boycott the movie, Zed said, “Today it is Hinduism, tomorrow Hollywood might attempt to denigrate another religion/denomination.”

The antics of Guru Pitka of “The Love Guru” are a mockery of the esteemed institution of guru, who is a highly revered spiritual teacher/master/preceptor in Hinduism and who helps remove the ignorance of the seeker and who leads one from darkness to light. The guru-sishya (teacher-disciple) relationship lies at the heart of traditional Hinduism. Guru is often allied with the divine. Guru bestows spiritual knowledge totally free from selfish objectives, Zed stressed.

On the other hand, guru in “The Love Guru” instigates a bar fight, repeatedly narrates penis jokes, mocks yoga (one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy), wears female jewelry, mocks the concept of third eye, makes disciples drink tea passed through his nose, orders alligator soup, induces elephant copulation in front of the crowd, introduces himself as “His Holiness”, lives in a lavish ashram staffed with scantily clad maids, and whose goal in life seems to appear on Oprah Winfrey show, Zed said.

When did Hindu gurus become available “for hire”? When and who started rating them? When did shishyas (disciples) started joining ashram for the sole purpose to make girls like them? Which Hindu ashram organizes fights of disciples with mops soaked in guru’s urine? Which guru urinates in the midst of disciples? Rajan Zed asked.

This is pure and blatant ridiculing and Paramount and its parent Viacom should immediately issue a general public apology for denigration of Hinduism and Hindu concepts, utter disregard of the protesters, backtracking on promise to pre-screen the movie for Rajan Zed and other Hindu leaders, making no efforts to have an open civilized dialogue with protesters to arrive at an mutually acceptable solution, Zed said.

A prominent Jewish Rabbi, Elizabeth W. Beyer of Nevada, has already called for boycott of “The Love Guru” because it “…lampoons Hinduism, mocks Ashram life and Hindu philosophy…”

Hindus are for free speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith is something sacred and attempts at belittling it hurt the devotees. Filmmakers should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects, as cinema is a very powerful medium, Zed argued.

Of course a small movie, which will be forgotten in few months, would not destroy the great tradition of Hinduism which has been around longer than any other established religion and has faced lot of onslaughts and came out stronger. But Hinduism is often misunderstood and wrongly portrayed outside India. Movies like this bring more confusion and create stereotypes in the minds of audience, many of whom may not have had any other exposure to its tenets, Zed stressed.

Humor is a part and parcel of Hindu society and our folk festivals, plays, stories, etc., are full of parody, satire, mimicry, buffoonery, etc. We are strong enough to take jokes. But there are certain convictions in every tradition, which are venerable and not meant to be mocked at, Zed argued.

People associated with the film claim that it has nothing to do with Hinduism and portrays “completely made up system of teachings”. But terms such as guru, ashram, yoga, karma, etc., –all clearly point to Hinduism. Some people who have vested interest in the movie are unsuccessfully trying to defend this apparent mockery and in the process creating more confusion, Zed said.

The broader aim of worldwide boycott against this movie is to protect the interests of various minorities and ethnicities of the world and save them from future ridicule. Everyone is a minority in some place and in some sense in this world and deserves to be respected. As fellow humans, is it not everybody’s duty to stand for the rights of minorities and speak for them when attempts are made at ridiculing them? Somebody has to make sacrifices so that others can live honorably, Rajan Zed stressed.

He said that what would have been a small public relations exercise blew out of proportion because of stubbornness of Paramount or incompetence of their public relations team or something else in their minds that we do not know. Backtracking on the promise of pre-screening for Hindu leaders by Paramount was described by the diverse clergy as “un-Christian, un-Hindu, un-Buddhist, un-Jewish, etc., besides being unethical.”

Our doors are still open for Paramount/Viacom for dialogue, Zed said.

Rajan Zed further said that comedy should make everybody smile and should not come at the expense of ridiculing others’ faith and spreading misinformation. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion followers and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. No faith, larger or smaller, should be ridiculed at.

“The Love Guru” (88 minutes), a comedy starring Mike Myers (of Austin Powers fame), opened today nationwide and will be released in different parts of the world in the near future. Viacom’s family of brands includes MTV, Paramount, DreamWorks, etc. Paramount Pictures Corporation is a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.


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Hindus ask Viacom for an apology to “perturbed” community over “The Love Guru” movie issues

Hindu Leader Rajan Zed

Special to Earthpages.org

Hindu groups have asked for immediate issuance of general apology from Viacom, leading global entertainment content company, to the “perturbed” Hindu community, over the issues related to the upcoming Hollywood movie “The Love Guru”, presented by its brand Paramount Pictures.

Spearheaded by prominent Indo-American leader Rajan Zed  (who has been saying since March that from the information available about “The Love Guru”, it appears to be lampooning Hinduism and Hindus and using Hindu terms frivolously), this protest movement has now spread worldwide and various other Hindu and non-Hindu groups/leaders have come out in support of the cause espoused by Zed.

In a complaint sent to Viacom’s Corporate Responsibility Council today about “about unethical, unprofessional and irresponsible business/corporate practices of Paramount Pictures and its parent, Viacom”, Hindu groups said, “We are appalled at the unethical, unprofessional and irresponsible behavior of Paramount Pictures (under the broad patronage of Viacom), who we had thought to be highly credible, global business entities, held in high esteem, which has resulted in the one-billion strong Hindu community worldwide feeling hurt.”

Various issues highlighted in this complaint included apparent denigration of Hinduism and Hindu concepts by the movie and utter disregard of the protesters by Paramount, Paramount backtracking on its promise to pre-screen the movie for Rajan Zed and other Hindu leaders, no response to the communiqués of protesting leaders/groups, making no efforts to have an open dialogue with protesters to arrive at an mutually acceptable solution, non-issuance of requested study-guide on Hinduism for movie viewers to undo the damage done.

Paramount/Viacom’s actions dealing with Hindu protesters were in clear violation of Viacom’s own policies, which talk about social commitment, highest standards of business behavior, company values individuals who are ethical, reaching all demographics, etc., this complaint sent to Sumner Redstone, Viacom Founder; Philippe Dauman, Viacom President; and others; indicated.

It stressed, “Viacom should immediately issue a general apology to the perturbed Hindu community, investigate its own policy violations, contact acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed to arrange a pre-screening of the movie ‘The Love Guru’ and try to arrive at an acceptable solution with the protesting Hindus (including Rajan Zed and us)”.

This complaint pointed out, “…Hindus are now left with no other alternative, but to consider launching a worldwide boycott of Paramount and Viacom products, and not to have any dealings with Paramount. The responsibility for this will lie with Paramount and Viacom, for not making any efforts to have an open dialogue with protestors and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution.”

Clergy belonging to different religions and denominations has strongly come out in support of “Hindu brothers” and criticized Paramount recently. “Going back on promise is un-Christian, un-Hindu, un-Buddhist, un-Jewish, etc., besides being unethical,” “Clergy’s appeal to Paramount Pictures” signed by Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and Hindu religious leaders said.

Zed says that Paramount’s behavior is like sending the message that it does not care about the feelings of one billion Hindus of the world. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with a rich philosophical thought, and it should not be taken lightly, he stresses.

“The Love Guru”, a comedy starring Mike Myers (of Austin Powers fame), is set to release on June 20 next.  Viacom’s family of brands includes MTV, Paramount, DreamWorks, etc. Paramount Pictures Corporation is a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.


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Hindus considering calling boycott of Paramount & Viacom products worldwide to express resentment over “The Love Guru” movie issue

Hindu Leader Rajan Zed

Special to Earthpages.org

In view of apparent lampooning by the upcoming Hollywood movie “The Love Guru” and its presenter Paramount Pictures showing utter disregard to the protests, Hindus are considering launching worldwide boycott of products of Paramount and its parent Viacom if no immediate acceptable solution is reached.

Protesting Hindus have been perturbed by “Paramount’s utter disregard of the one-billion-strong Hindu community”, who have vowed to intensify their campaign against the movie. Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu leader, who spearheaded this drive, has been saying that from the information available about the movie, it appears to be lampooning Hinduism and Hindus and using Hindu terms frivolously.

In a communiqué to Paramount Pictures today, Bhavna Shinde, representing Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and Sanatan Society for Scientific Spirituality, said, “If this anti-Hindu stance taken by Paramount and Viacom continues, and these companies make no efforts to contact the protestors (including Rajan Zed and us) to arrive at an agreeable solution immediately, Hindus and other spiritual seekers, who hold the ‘Guru-disciple’ relationship as sacred, will be left with no other alternative, but to consider launching a worldwide boycott of Paramount and Viacom products, and not to have any dealings with Paramount and Viacom. The responsibility for this will lie with Paramount and Viacom, for not making any efforts to have an open dialogue with protestors and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution.”

“We are appalled at the unprofessional attitude of Paramount and its parent company Viacom, who we had thought to be highly credible global business entities, held in high esteem. It is very unusual for corporations like Paramount and Viacom to behave so immaturely”, Shinde added.

She listed various reasons of Hindu community “feeling hurt” as: apparent denigration of Hinduism and Hindu concepts by “The Love Guru”, no reportedly promised pre-screening of the movie in sight, ignoring of protesters despite their repeated efforts for contact, failure to respond to protesters’ communiqués, non-issuance of study guide on Hinduism for the viewers of the movie, utter disregard for the efforts of Hindus to arrive at an acceptable solution.

In a communiqué to Rajan Zed in March; Jessica Rovins, Senior Vice President National Publicity of Paramount Pictures, wrote, “It is our full intention to screen the film for Rajan Zed and other Hindu leaders in the U.S. once we have a finished print.” Hindu groups have been repeating the same statement in the media since then without any denial or contradictory statement from Paramount, thus concluding that Paramount was going to stand by its words.

Clergy belonging to different religions and denominations has strongly come out in support of “Hindu brothers” and criticized Paramount. “Going back on promise is un-Christian, un-Hindu, un-Buddhist, un-Jewish, etc., besides being unethical,” “Clergy’s appeal to Paramount Pictures” signed by Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and Hindu religious leaders said.

Attempts by Hindu groups to reach Paramount executives during the last few weeks have been futile, as Rovins and her boss Executive Vice President Michael Vollman did not return the communiqués of Hindu leaders. Despite trying, Hindu leaders also could not get through to Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore and Chairman Brad Grey.

Prominent Indo-American leader Rajan Zed has said that it was shocking to see a company like Paramount, a brand of Viacom, which is held in high esteem world over and is known for its credibility and clean business practices, apparently going back on its word to pre-screen the movie for Hindu leaders. It is like sending the message that Paramount does not care about the feelings of one billion Hindus of the world. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with a rich philosophical thought, and it should not be taken lightly, Zed stresses.

Hindu groups are re-planning their agitation in view of this development and leaning towards further intensification and taking it to the streets.

Shinde, in another communiqué earlier to Paramount, said, “So far, the protest movement against this movie’s denigration of sacred concepts of Hinduism is increasing, with thousands of Hindus and spiritual people from around the world joining in. However, Paramount Pictures’ seeming ‘about turn’ on their promise to the Hindu community may cause the tolerant Hindu community to lose patience and we fear the protests coming to the streets against this movie… At least the producers of ‘The passion of Christ’ movie had the decency to keep their promise to the clergy by holding advanced screenings for them…We ask Paramount Pictures to promptly contact Rajan Zed to arrange the pre-screening of this movie for Hindu leaders.”

The apparent breaking of the promise by Paramount has angered various other Hindu leaders also, including Jawahar L. Khurana, Chairperson of Hindu Alliance of India; Rakesh Nagpal, General Secretary of Shri Ramayan Pracharini Sabha; Lila D. Sharma, President of India Heritage Panel; and Dharam Loonaa, Executive Director of the Universal Society of Hinduism (who have been supporting this cause espoused by Rajan Zed); who are also gravitating towards taking the protest to the streets.

Hindu groups have also contacted cinema/film related organizations worldwide urging them not to distribute/screen upcoming Hollywood movie “The Love Guru” till Paramount Pictures makes necessary changes to it, “so that it will not hurt the feelings of the worldwide spiritual and Hindu community.” Hindu groups have contacted Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging intervention in the matter. Hindus have also floated an online protest signature drive, which had over 5,200 signatures today.

Meanwhile, furthering the drive pioneered by Indo-American leader Rajan Zed, various organizations and leaders have been coming out expressing concern about the possibility of “The Love Guru” hurting the sentiments of Hindus worldwide and urging filmmakers to be more responsible when handling faith related subjects. Various Hindu, Catholic, Presbyterian, Jewish, Native American, Methodist, Buddhist, youth, film, spiritual/religious, music, yoga, civil rights, etc., leaders have already issued statements in support of this cause espoused by Rajan Zed.

A prominent Jewish Rabbi, Elizabeth W. Beyer of Nevada (USA), has called for boycott of  “The Love Guru” because it “…lampoons Hinduism, mocks Ashram life and Hindu philosophy…” and asking “who laughs at religious practices”.

It may be recalled here that advance screenings of Mel Gibson’s 2004 movie “The Passion of the Christ” were held for clergy and others.

“The Love Guru”, a comedy starring Mike Myers (of Austin Powers fame), is set to release on June 20 next.  Viacom is a leading global entertainment content company and its family of brands includes MTV, Paramount, DreamWorks, etc. Paramount Pictures Corporation is a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.


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Hindus launch online campaign against “The Love Guru” movie

             Hindu Leader Rajan Zed

Special to Earthpages.org

Intensifying the protest campaign against the upcoming Hollywood movie “The Love Guru”, Hindus have floated an online signature drive.

Advancing the movement launched by acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed, this signature drive sends protest e-mails to Motion Picture Association of America, Paramount Pictures (presenters of “The Love Guru”), National Association of Theatre Owners, Indian Censor Board, and other authorities across the world. When someone registers for this drive, it automatically sends protest mail to these organizations.

“…In this film, the sacred relationship between Guru and disciple has been ridiculed…The parody on Gurus will contribute to the misunderstanding about the sacred concept of the ‘Guru’…”, the protest message says.

First day of this campaign registered about 2,500 protesters, according to Bhavna Shinde, Hindu leader affiliated with this campaign.

Meanwhile, furthering the drive pioneered by Indo-American leader Rajan Zed, various organizations and leaders have been coming out expressing concern about the possibility of “The Love Guru” hurting the sentiments of Hindus worldwide and urging filmmakers to be more responsible when handling faith related subjects. Zed has been saying that from the information available about the movie, it appears to be lampooning Hinduism and Hindus and using Hindu terms frivolously. Various Hindu, Catholic, Presbyterian, Jewish, Native American, Methodist, Buddhist, youth, film, spiritual/religious, music, yoga, civil rights, etc., leaders have already issued statements in support of this cause espoused by Rajan Zed.

On the other hand, Hindu groups have recently been approaching film distributors associations, exhibitors groups, regulatory bodies, government ministries, theater owners, etc., in various parts of the world urging them not to distribute/screen “The Love Guru” till Paramount Pictures makes necessary changes to it. 

Paramount Pictures, through its Senior Vice President National Publicity, Jessica Rovins, has earlier stated, “It is our full intention to screen the film for Rajan Zed and other Hindu leaders in the U.S. once we have a finished print.”

It may be recalled here that advance screenings of Mel Gibson’s 2004 movie “The Passion of the Christ” were held for clergy and others.

“The Love Guru”; a comedy starring Mike Myers (of Austin Powers fame, who is also the co-writer and co-producer), Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake, Ben Kingsley; and directed by Marco Schnabel; is set to release on June 20 next. In it Myers, an American, raised in an ashram in India, moves back to US as Guru Pitka to seek fame and fortune in the world of self-help and spirituality.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion followers. Moksha (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.

Paramount Pictures Corporation, a Viacom brand, is a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.

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